Issue: 393             
December 5, 2019 
In This Issue

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Message from the Director
Schöne Grüße von TCGIS! 

Ted shares what's happening this week at TCGIS: construction, celebrations, sledding and more! 
Click here or the image for the video. 

Thank you, PTO! 

The Administration and Staff would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the PTO, and to all the families who donate to the PTO fundraisers, for the  $10,000 PTO grant to support new-staff onboarding and staff community-building opportunities.

So far this year these funds have been used to support the following: 
  • New Teacher Picnic at Como Park
  • Intercultural German-American Communication Training with a consultant, which teachers voted as their favorite hour of teacher workshop week
  • 33 hours of teachers providing individual support to new teachers: airport pickup; accommodation; assistance setting up cell phones, bank accounts; trips to Social Security and fingerprinting for teaching license; looking for housing and furniture, cars and bikes, Ikea & Target trips.
  • Can-Can Wonderland outing with new and returning staff and interns 
Opportunities to welcome and integrate new staff, to learn together, and to build community are so valuable and very much appreciated by staff! Herzlichen Dank!
Fundraising at TCGIS
Achtung Baby author, Sara Zaske, hosted by TCGIS

January 29, 7:00-9:00 p.m., University of St. Thomas

TCGIS has invited Sara Zaske, author of Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children to St. Paul for a  speaking engagement in late January. Ms. Zaske will discuss themes from her book, such as risk-taking, freedom, and cultural influences on parenting. There will also be a Q & A session with the audience.

The event, co-sponsored by the German Department at University of St. Thomas, is a fundraiser for the TCGIS Annual Fund and is open to the public; tickets will be available for purchase shortly. Copies of Achtung Baby are available for $20 donations to the TCGIS Annual Fund and can be picked up in the front office, and would make a great gift!
Herzlichen Dank! (Our Heartfelt Thanks!)

Thanks to you, we have raised $54,305 for the Annual Fund!

We have surpassed our second milestone at $50,000 and this Friday we will celebrate here at school with a Pajama-and-Hat Day for all staff and students! 

Our next stop is $75,000 for an All-Staff Dress-up Day Will you help us get there?

Now is a great time to inquire about a matching donation from your employer. Acknowledgment of all donations will be sent in the next few weeks.  If you need a receipt to apply for an employer-matching grant soon, please email Katharina Schirg (kschirg@tcgis.org). 

As always, donations can also be made via our Square Store, GiveMN page and BoonliThank you so much for supporting our school! 
School Board Announcements
School Board: November 19 Meeting Recap

The November 19 School Board meeting agenda and packet is available
here , and a recording of the meeting is available here

The Board heard Carol Mecklenburg, TCGIS School Psychologist, Jessie Kember, contracted U of MN Psych Professor and TCGIS Assessment and Screening Coordinator and Danielle Becker, TCGIS Psych Intern, present on the development, implementation and benefits of our Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). They discussed the design of this program, how it dovetails with ADSIS and how this support system is used as an integral means in early identification of students who need additional academic and behavioral and emotional support. 

The Board also approved changes to these policies:
  • 406 Public and Private Personnel Data - a change to ensure that private personnel data remains private
  • 514 Bullying Prohibition Policy - adopted the MN statutory definition of "bullying" to the policy
  • 531 Pledge of Allegiance - adopted Wording changes to integrate the MN State Social Studies standards to teach about the Pledge per MN state standards within a more global context (Kindergarten and 1st grade), and also discussed options for displaying the flag in the school, as required by MN statute
  • 603 Curriculum Development - Updated Section III C 7 to Every Student Succeeds Act
The Board also formally thanked these staff members and volunteers  for their work at and on behalf of TCGIS.  Thank you!    
Building Project Task Force Volunteer Opportunities

There are two upcoming volunteer opportunities related to our building project. First, a gabion wall will be installed on the east property line. The school needs a small task force to convene and design this wall. Volunteers will meet between 4-6 times in March and April 2020, with installation next summer.  
The second opportunity will be working on exterior wall art, facing the playground. This "Eastside Gallery" task force will gather community input, commission an artist and work on the design and will meet 6-10 times between now and next August. Installation is TBD.
If you have any interest in serving on these task forces, please contact Nic Ludwig ( nludwig@tcgis.org )  or Richard Heid ( rheid@tcgis.org ), both on the Finance & Facilities Committee.  
Upcoming Board Committee Meetings

Workplace Culture and Innovative Education Committee Meeting: Fri, Dec 6, 3:45-5:30pm, Room 99

Governance Committee Meeting: Mon, Dec 9, 3:30pm - 4:30pm, Room 99 

Communication & Diversity Outreach Meeting: Tue, Dec 10, 8:15am - 9:15am, OPC Classroom 2 or 3.  Rebecca from Amazeworks will lead our discussion on providing an equity lens when determining policies, procedures and practices around recruitment, hiring, retention, leadership development, and community outreach.

Executive Committee Meeting: Wed, Dec 11, 6:30pm - 7:30pm, Room 100
School Information
Pajama-and-Hat Day this Friday, Dec. 6!

Tomorrow, Friday, December 6, all students and staff are invited to wear pajamas or a hat (or both) to school for the day in celebration of surpassing the $50,000 milestone in our Annual Fund Give to the Max campaign this past month. 
Enrichment Class Registration Opens Tomorrow!
Registration for the winter session of enrichment classes (formerly after-school activities) is opening tomorrow! Winter session runs from January 6th until March 27th.

Beginning this session, TCGIS will use an online registration platform. Via this website, you will be able to register your children for classes and pay for them all online. You will be able to view dates, locations, and instructors for all classes as well as a calendar view of your children's schedule. When the class is full, it will close automatically. The registration deadline is  December 18th at 11:59pm.

Please pair your enrichment class sign-up with delegating your child/ren in PikMyKid to the "Enrichment Class Winter Session" pickup mode on the appropriate days. You can set the change to recur weekly, just watch out for any no class days like early-release days or conferences.

We are so excited about this new program, we're offering FOURTEEN classes this winter and have classes for all grade levels and on every day of the week! An email will go out tomorrow with specific information about registering your children for enrichment activities online. Please look out for it!
TCGIS Food Drive Begins Next Week!

Did you know that 1 in 8 MN children endure hunger through no fault of their own? 
(from Second Harvest Heartland)

TCGIS has an opportunity to help families in our Como neighborhood and the surrounding St. Paul community through a Food Drive next week! Keystone Community Services has two locations in St. Paul. Last month, 2nd graders toured Keystone's Foodmobile that can bring food to areas where needs have been identified.

* Our food drive runs Dec 9 - 12 (4 days, no school on Friday!)
* Participation is completely optional for students and families
* Student Council will pick up food from classrooms and bring it to bins in the foyer
* Only bring food that is "shelf-stable" (no refrigeration required)

Monday: Soup (canned or boxed)
Tuesday: Cereal (cold and hot)
Wednesday: Proteins (peanut butter, canned tuna, canned meat)
Thursday: Rice & Beans
Friday: No School!

We hope to donate over 1,000 items to Keystone Community Service. Stay tuned if we break our goals!

Contact Michael White, TCGIS School Culture & Student Success Coordinator if you have questions.  
Winter Reminders for Cubside Arrival & Dismissal

Now that local roads are narrower due to plowed snow,  we ask you to keep the following in mind. 

In the car drop-off and pick-up line, please: 
  • keep all intersections, including alleys,  open along Van Slyke while in the car line; neighbors have reported difficulty exiting their alleys at arrival and dismissal times, and this is particularly challenging with large snow piles.
  • enter the car pick-up line from Lexington, not from Churchill Street. 
Vielen Dank!
Construction Updates 

Construction is back and, unfortunately, so is the snow for the winter season. This week will see some more demo work along the old foundation wall and earth work to prep the area for the footings. Xcel Energy will be out this Thursday and Friday. They will be rerouting an underground line away from the planned foundation and underground water retention system. The new line will be closer to the east end of the play space. We are also looking into removing the old parking lights.

School Pictures Update

According to Lifetouch, our photos are still in their lab que waiting for printing. We apologize again for the extra long delay they are experiencing this year. We understand that this is inconvenient and untimely around the holidays. A photo make-up day will be scheduled as soon as we have word that our first round of photos and proofs have been mailed to school for distribution.

The Good News! We have signed a contract with Jostens for school photos for next year and are excited to partner with them! They offer many conveniences that we are looking forward to sharing with you next fall. 
PTO Updates                                           
Potluck Sign-ups in December

Monday December 16 - 8th Grade
Intern Breakfast
Let's show our appreciation for the interns' work with our children by providing a tasty breakfast during their monthly meeting.   Please sign up here.    

Wednesday, December 18th -  All Grades
Staff Appreciation Holiday Luncheon
The PTO will cater the main meal for staff, but we are looking for families to provide desserts and beverages, and help set up and clean up.  Please sign up here.
Waldsee Family Retreat Still Open!

This 4 day/3 night respite will send you home refreshed and ready to face the rest of winter.
Herr Tabisz is hosting a long weekend over Spring Break (March 28-March 31) filled all the amazing things Waldsee has to offer (woods, snow, sauna, great food, and fantastic company).

Here's how this will work: You buy-in to the event with the Auction at $20/person (a minimum suggested donation). That's the fundraising part and what will go to support the PTO.

Once the Auction is over, Herr Tabisz will be in touch regarding arranging payment for the actual cost of the weekend. That cost ($166) is per person and includes your cabin and all of your meals. -- Alle sind willkommen!   Click here for more info.
Get Involved!

We could use YOU to join the Maskenball planning team. Reach out to tcgispto@gmail.com
Save the Dates:

Thursday, February 6th -  PTO Meeting at School
Saturday, March 21st -  Maskenball
Local German Cultural Events 

Holiday Open Haus at the GAI

Saturday and Sunday, December 7 + 8  | 11 AM to 4 PM
This two-day annual event features German food and drink, local vendors selling gifts and handmade goods, and fun activities for all ages.  HOLIDAY OPEN HAUS

Capstone Families  (7th & 8th Grades)
Sign-up to volunteer on the TCGIS Green Team to support the GAI at this festive event, and raise funds towards your Capstone program in 2020 or 2021.
Weihnachtsgottesdienst in St. Paul on December 15

St. Paul's United Church of Christ will host an Ecumenical Christmas Service in German on Sunday, Dec. 15, 3:00-4:00 p.m. Enjoy hymns, liturgy, readings, special music and a short sermon  auf Deutsch. Click here for more details.

The service includes a number of readings interspersed with music. TCGIS students who are interested in reading one of these passages are invited to contact Fritz West, (651) 433-4058 or fritzwest@frontiernet.net.